If Not Me and You… Then, WHO?
The following is an e-mail sent by Kristine Koumentakos to the website Orthodox Christians for Accountability. I believe that you must hear this in her words. If the situation of Ms Koumentakos doesn’t move you to tears and righteous anger, you have a heart of stone. This is disgusting. Clergy shouldn’t hurt people by exposing their private lives to public obloquy. There’s an unhealthy clericalism foreign to a true Churchly-spirit afoot in the Church at present. We either speak out or we show ourselves in favour of such by our complicit silence. No matter what the cost, I won’t be silent. I might only be a “little person” of no influence, but my duty’s clear. I’ll take my stand. What about you?
If not you and me… then, WHO?
I would like to express my sincere congratulations to the Diocese of Washington and the OCA on the election of Fr Raymond Velencia to the Metropolitan Council. Included in the Very Reverend Velencia’s lengthy list of commendable accomplishments is sending every single excruciating detail of my personal history, shared with him in confession and counselling over the course of our 15 year relationship, in an e-mail to approximately 40 individuals I’d never met. People who had no right to the information. They were bishops and clergy and lay members of the Metropolitan Council. Obviously, I did not give my authorisation for him to do this.
He did it in an effort to humiliate, intimidate, and discredit me. His e-mail did not address my allegations of his misconduct. He had nothing else with which to fight my allegations, so, he grossly abused his power and position, knowing that I was already vulnerable (based on my history), knowing that I had a baby to care for, without regard to the harm he would be inflicting. His e-mail also went to Mark Stokoe, editor of this website, a full year BEFORE Mark was elected to the Metropolitan Council himself with the intention of getting my highly personal information further published and distributed.
The Very Rev Fr Alexey Karlgut “investigated” the matter and when I refused to sign a release for the OCA, the investigation was over. In his findings, Fr Alexey impersonated a legal professional, further intimidated me with my personal information, stated that “no one came forward to verify my allegations of the violation of my confession”. Which was interesting given that he never contacted my witnesses or noted my witness statements. Which included a written statement from a previous Board Member of St Matthew House who reported that the Very Rev Fr Velencia had violated my confidentiality to her.
I will not be silent. Not anymore. I have tried for almost 4 years to resolve this matter. All I ever wanted was for the church to intervene in a very abusive situation. All I ever wanted was accountability, correction, prevention. Sadly, I was told [by] high-ups in the OCA itself that I would get nowhere without a lawsuit. I have been open to settling the matter several times. What prevented that process [were] megalomaniacal demands from Fr Ray for me never to set foot in his church again, for example. The Circuit Court for Howard County dismissed my complaint against the OCA, the diocese, the Very Reverend Constantine White, St Matthew church, and the former Metropolitan Herman on the basis of First Amendment rights for hierarchical churches to self-govern, even if, as the local attorney for the church said, “the priest is bad”. It was NOT dismissed on the merits of the case.
The case is a matter of public record and I will be posting the motions for summary judgment filed by the OCA and the diocese, as well as the affidavits filed by Herman, Constantine White, and Joseph Lickwar, for your information. I will also post the transcripts from the hearings we had. You should be aware of the tactics used by the church to escape responsibility. Even if you DO NOT CARE, which has become evident to me and to my family.
The Circuit Court judge continued my complaint against St Matthew House and Fr Ray as President of the Board for the wrongful termination of my employment and for discrimination based on sex (pregnancy) which means we are still in litigation. In addition, we will likely appeal the Circuit Court’s decision regarding the church portion of the case as the judge was wrong in his overly broad application of the First Amendment. Reading the transcript of the hearings as well as attached legal research will speak for itself. I will not be silent.
Kristine Patico Koumentakos
17 September 2009
This is Ms Koumentakos’ text, with only two grammatical corrections (both marked off by brackets: 1. “My” is obviously a mistype for “by” 2. “Was” was used where “were” was appropriate). Misspellings have been corrected.
Who is next? Is it me? Is it you? THIS is how the sodomite cabal has kept power all these years. It isn’t afraid to hurt people. True, it doesn’t beat them or kill them. It does something WORSE. It does its best to destroy and trash their reputations. I know full-well about this… it isn’t theory for me! The evil triumph because the good do nothing.
If not me and you… then WHO?